When was the last time you detached yourself from your busy work life and really thought about your employees? Are they satisfied with their work-life balance? Do they get along with their coworkers? Do they feel fulfilled? Are they happy?
Employee happiness seems like a no-brainer. However, I don’t think I’m the only one who knows that some bosses take it for granted, most likely because it’s so obvious. Let’s take a quick look at what the benefits of having happy employees are.
Why have happy employees?
- Loyalty: Everyone wants loyal employees. Loyalty and trust are everything, from boosting your reputation in the job market to gathering talented people you can groom for management.
- Productivity: This is usually the first thing that comes to mind when brainstorming about the benefits of happy employees. It goes a little deeper than the simple idea that “the happier people are, the harder they work,” though. It’s true, studies have shown that productivity increases when employees are satisfied, but it’s not just about the increased amount of work that gets done. The quality of your employees’ work also directly correlates with happiness.
- Security and stability: Happy employees are less likely to call in sick, both because happiness and laughter stimulate the immune system and because they don’t dread going to work. In turn, since they are more likely to stay at your company longer, your turnover rates get lower and lower. Having long-term, healthy, and energetic employees is far preferable to the constant scramble for talent, right?
A good company is only as good as its employees, so make sure you’re putting effort into the lives and wellbeing of your workers. Any time you’re in a supervisory position, responsibility falls on you to make sure things are running smoothly to the best of your ability.
So how can you do this?
- Let your employees be their own person. Running a totalitarian organization usually backfires in the end, as I’m sure we all know. Make it clear that you’re open to a difference in opinion. Don’t lead your employees to believe that they have to agree with you all the time. Encourage healthy expression of different viewpoints.
- Provide free food. This one sounds silly, but studies show that employees who have access to complimentary snacks and food at work enjoy themselves more.
- Allow them to grow. A big complaint among the workforce is stagnation. Most of the time, people feel a sense of fulfillment when they know that they’re learning and growing as a person, both personally and professionally. Providing opportunities for your workers to gain new skills and expand their understanding both contributes to employee happiness and the overall enrichment of your company.
- Maintain communication. If you don’t have an effective communication policy in place, now’s the time to develop one. Lack of communication causes a serious disconnect between management and employees. Make it your responsibility to reach out to your employees on a regular basis, not the other way around.
- Remember that you’re not a miracle worker. In the end, it really is up to each individual to foster their own idea of happiness. The most you can do as a supervisor is to make it as available to your employees as possible. You shouldn’t be losing sleep over being unable to fix your staff’s every complaint.
To wrap up…
Having responsibility over employees at your job is a little like being a parent. You don’t have to teach your employees how to feed themselves or tie their shoes (hopefully), but you do have a degree of responsibility over them. It’s up to you to do everything in your power to make the workplace a welcoming environment, and the growth that your business will experience makes everything worth it a thousand times over.
This article was written by Carson Collins. You can reach him at [email protected] with any questions.